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Woman Watches as House Burns Down During 'Volcano' Fire

Stephanie Snyder, 25, raced home from work to learn what happened to her house as firefighters desperately tried to save her childhood home from burning.

As firefighters tried to stop the flames, all Stephanie Snyder could do was watch as the "Volcano" fire destroyed her family home.

“This is the house I grew up with,” she said. “Myself and my brother, we grew up in this home.”

Snyder, 25, raced to the house from her job in Rancho Cucamonga after receiving calls from her boyfriend and sister-in-law. 

“They said that La Cresta had a pretty bad fire, and my house was going to need to be evacuated,” she said.

Snyder parked at the bottom of Avenida La Cresta and could see the flames coming up over the hill. It was “deceiving” she said, because it didn’t look as though her house would get hit.

“It was scary,” she said. “I was super scared.”

Snyder could see the fire trucks in the driveway, and she spoke with her father, Rick, on her cell phone, reporting back to him what was happening.

“I saw the Palm trees go up, and it was confirmed our driveway was affected,” she said. “It looked like they were containing the house, and sprayed it with water to keep it cool. I don’t know, the winds may have picked up, something, and it billowed up and the house just slowly but surely started burning. They couldn’t contain it.”

According to Snyder, the firefighters were spraying water on the house as much as possible, and “I feel like they did everything they could,” she said. “I think it got too hot. Once it started, it didn’t look like it would ever get better.”

Although the family is safe, Snyder is worried about their cat, an orange male “mutt” with crossed eyes named Maddox. 

“We can’t find him,” Snyder said. “We don’t know if he was retrieved. Cats are pretty resilient, so we are assuming he got away. We just don’t know where he’s at.”

Today will go down as “probably the worst day of my life,” Snyder said. All of the family’s pictures are gone, along with “everything we own and everything we’ve done.”

“It’s the only house I’ve ever lived in,” she said. “My family, my dad worked so hard. He gave a lot back to the community. We’re loving people; it’s a tragedy.

“It would help if we had everyone’s prayers. We’re going to stay close as a family and just get through this together.”

If anyone finds Maddox or has information on him, please let Patch know and we will contact Stephanie Snyder. 

- Interview conducted by Daniel Lane; story written by Catherine Garcia

J Carabine August 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Fire is going again ;(. Just came from Baron's and can see it going and engines running up the hill.
Dabney Finch August 02, 2012 at 11:03 PM
There is a flareup of 5 acres and parts of Avenida La Cresta and maybe part of Clinton-Keith are closed to traffic for non-residents. I saw the fire and it looks as if the fire dept. is gaining on it readily. Down in the canyon behind Valle Vista in an area that had not burned yet.
Bobbie Dilks August 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Dear Sherrie, Rick, and family; We were stunned to see you on the news last night. We are so sincerely sorry for the terrible loss of your beautiful home. We thank God you are all safe and we hope kitty shows up soon. Like you said, you are a strong family and this will get you all through this tragedy. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon you will all overcome this loss. You will remain constant in our thoughts and prayers. We wish you nothing but the best as you rebuild your home and new memories!
The Whitaker's August 04, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Hey guys, so sorry for your loss. We have been praying for you all & if there is anything you need please know we are here for you all
april August 06, 2012 at 07:31 AM
To the Synder FAmily- please let us know how we can help. The Vidals. ps- so very thankful no one was hurt.... kitty is probably just waiting to be found... :)

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